Tutankhamun Exhibit at The O2, London



INLAID PECTORAL SPELLING OUT THE NAME OF THE KING The Inlaid Pectoral Spelling Out the Name of the King is made of gold and semi-precious stones. PHOTO CREDIT: © ANDREAS F. VOEGELIN, ANTIKENMUSEUM BASEL AND SAMMLUNG LUDWIG

Return of the King: Tutankhamun Exhibit Comes to 02 Dome

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VISCERA COFFIN. PHOTO CREDIT: © ANDREAS F. VOEGELIN, ANTIKENMUSEUM BASEL AND SAMMLUNG LUDWIGLast time Tut Mania hit London, in 1972, the exhibition was a record breaker, when over 1.7 million queued up for hours to see Tutankhamun's tomb treasures in the British Museum.

Now a whole new generation will be able to experience the child-Pharaoh as his 2007 trek reaches London on 15 November. The 02 Arena, which reopened its doors after a post-Millennium Dome revamp on 15 July, will be the new HQ for the ancient wonder. Out of the 130 items featured in this year's exhibition, only seven will be repeated from the 1972 version, making the riches a new adventure for everyone who attends.

Treasures will not only include those from the Tutankhamun era, but also from history's other Valley of the Kings Ancestors, creating an exhibit almost three times as large as the earlier event.

"This will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the remains of the Pharaoh's tomb," said a spokesperson for the upcoming exhibition. "The aim is to make it even more visually stimulating than what people witnessed in 1972."

Tutankamun's tomb was originally discovered almost nearly intact by British Archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922. Thanks to worldwide publicity and the growing internationalization of information media, the discovery placed King Tut at the tip of everyone's tongues when it came to historical artefacts.

The ancient story dates back to the Amama Age, when the young king ruled from 1333 BC – 1324 BC, reuniting a fragmented and disgruntled nation by restoring traditional multi-god faith practices banned by his predecessor king, likely his own father. The famous death mask that became the key symbol of a regained interest in ancient Egypt will not be part of the exhibit, as Egyptian law mandates it stays in its home country. The tour is sponsored by staple historic digest National Geographic.

- Seth Graves

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